Mercedes takes a second aim at an entry-level sedan with the A-Class, and this time hits closer to the mark.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class splits the brand’s compact sedan lineup from one to two. The A-Class offers the looks of a more traditional sedan, while the carry-over CLA-Class has the swoopier lines of a coupe-like sedan.
Due to hit dealers in late 2018, the 2019 A-Class will be offered in just one model, the A220, in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. Its lone engine is a 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 188 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. Power flows to the front or all four wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Mercedes has not yet announced fuel economy ratings, but the company says the car has a coefficient of drag of just 0.22, which gives it the lowest aerodynamic drag of all production vehicles worldwide.
The new A-Class rides an updated version of the architecture that underpins the CLA, here called MFA2 for Modular Front-drive Architecture 2. Versus the outgoing version of the platform, the new version brings weight savings and the ability to accept alternative drivetrains.
The suspension features MacPherson struts up front with a four-link independent rear axle. Adaptive dampers are optional.
The A-Class takes a significant step forward from the CLA in interior technology. With the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) interface, buyers get two screens, one for the instrument cluster and the other for infotainment. They are offered 7.0- or 10.3-inch sizes. The system recognizes natural speed commands, and the infotainment screen offers touch control, which is a first in a Mercedes. A touchpad is also provided. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
Other standard interior goodies include a panoramic sunroof and dual-zone automatic climate control. The options list includes navigation, ambient lighting, multi-countour and heated/ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, inductive wireless charging for cell phones, a head-up display, and a Burmester sound system.
Mercedes says the A-Class is at the top of its segment for rear headroom, which is an issue for the CLA.
Safety technology from higher-end Mercrdes-Benz cars filters down to the entry-level. A-Class. Although Mercedes hasn't detailed specifications for the U.S. market, the A-Class will be offered with a whole slew of features, including adaptive cruise control, active lane control, forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, forward cross-traffic detection, blind-spot monitors, and an automatic lane change function.
Pricing has not yet been announced, but the 2019 A-Class will be the new entry-level model and is expected to start around $30,000. When the CLA was released in 2013, it started around $30,000, but it is now about $33,000.